Despite appearances, Stories and Reels have very little in common and are often verydifferent. Whether you're a brand, an artist or just a content creator for yourpersonal account, there are a few things to know about using Stories and Reels wisely.
To begin, let's take a look at the main technical differences between Reels andStories.
|Display||As a Story (see detailed description below)||As Reel & Story (see detailed description below)|
|Format||Video - Photo - Posts from Instagram feed||Video|
|Length||Up to 15 seconds||Up to 30 seconds|
|Editing||None||Slow down & speed up videos - Trim and align or“stitch” videos together|
|Audio||Add and select the part of a music piece from the musiclibrary||Add and select the part of a music piece from the musiclibrary + Automatic musicalsequence from one clip to another|
|Draft||None||Save to publish later|
|Caption||None||Full caption like a post|
|Hashtag &Mention||You can mention people and hashtags, but the Stories arenot directly displayed onthe hashtags page||You can mention people and hashtags, and the reels aredisplayed on the hashtag page|
|Placement & Share||Share to your followers, close friends group only orIndividually via Instagrammessaging.||On the explore tab (public accounts only) + on your ownReels feed &general Insta feed (shared with your followers like a post)+ as Story (yourReel will be displayed as aStory)|
|Engagement||Private engagement: likes and comments arrive in yourdirect messaging||Like feed posts, people can publicly comment Reels|
Difference #1. Display
This is the main difference between Stories and Reels: the Story format is an ephemeralstatus pinned to your profile picture. The Story is a concept that allows you to tell thestory of your day using video, photo or a post, as much as you want for 24 hours.
The Reel remains a creativity-driven single video that will be displayed in the feed as apost (which you can share as a Story as you would a post).
When a Story is available, a red circle surrounds the profile picture of the people youfollow at the top of the screen (image 1). A simple click launches the video. Stories arevisible for 24 hours only (image 2).
You can save your Stories on your profil in a Highlight every single time. You will find themabove your posts on your profile, round thumbnails (image 3).
Reels from people you follow appear in your feed as a post and are recognizable by the playsymbol at the bottom left of the video (image 1). A simple click launches the video.
You can also find Reels via the Explore tab - magnifying glass symbol - (image 2).
The Reels you create will remain visible on your profile in the Reels grid (central button)and in your general grid (left button) if you have checked the "Also share toFeed" option. (Image 3).
Difference #2. Format
This is probably one of the main difference between Reels and Stories. Initially Stories weresynonymous with videos exclusively. Soon, Instagram expanded the range of options to allowsharing other content such as written posts and business links (for pro accounts only forthe moment). This difference makes the Story a broader sharing format for content whileReels remain a video-only format.
Difference #3. Lifespan
Even if we can pin our Stories on our profile to make them accessible after 24 hours, we willsee in the sharing options that this aspect is a determining factor when choosing between aReel and a Story according to the use cases.
Difference #4. Length
As we saw in the "Display" section you can post as many Stories as you want during24 hours. Each Story will have a maximum duration of 15 seconds while a Reel can go up to30.
Difference #5. Editing
When it comes to video editing, Reels is the best. It offers additional video editingfeatures to allow you to create more sophisticated videos than with the Story editor. Thesetools allow you to slow down or speed up clips, trim content and align or "stitch"videos for smooth transitions. Like the audio options we'll see below, the Reelsfeatures encourage creativity while the Story editor features emphasize immediacy.
Difference #6. Audio
For your Stories (photo or video) or your Reels, you have access to all the available musiccatalogs. Whether it is a Story or a Reel, you can illustrate your clip with the song ofyour choice by picking the part you like. Reels goes further: if you create several clips(within the 30 seconds limit), the editor will consider your clips as a single video and themusic you choose will be played automatically and without any break between your differentsequences. If you want the same song to continue on the next clip in a Story you will haveto go back to the music bank to find the song and then tune it by ear, which can be fun orvery very boring.
Difference #7. Draft
As we've seen, improvisation and immediacy are the DNA of Stories, which is also why youcan't save a draft Story in Instagram. But there's nothing to stop you fromshooting your clips with your favorite camera app to do your edits and then schedule thelaunch of your Stories. Reels are more elaborate videos that can be saved as drafts to bereworked. You will find your drafts in the Reels tab of your profile.
Difference #8. Caption
The ephemeral status and format of the Stories does not allow to add a caption like on theposts. However, the Story's logic of immediacy allows for liking and commenting asdirect messages via Instagram messaging. Reels are creations that are displayed like classicposts. They are more sophisticated and are made to last and be seen again and again,that's why you can add a caption. Like a post you can comment and like them.
Difference #9. Gif - Sticker
Story or Reel, no difference here. In addition to the cosmetic enhancement tool and the different filters available, youcan add GIFs, stickers, write a message or draw freehand.
Difference #10. Hashtag & Mention
Reel or Story, you can mention (@) people as well as add hashtags. However, you'll havea hard time finding Stories through hashtags whether your account is private or public.Indeed, unless you pay for Instagram to propose them beyond your circle of friends, theStories are intended to be seen only by your followers. Regarding mentions, the onlydifference is related to the format: for Stories, these mentions will be on the visual(photo, video, post). For Reels, you can add them at the end of the process in the caption,exactly like for a post.
Difference #11. Placement & Share
The Story is something that you share with your followers, a group of close friends only orindividually via Instagram messaging. And it makes sense: why would people who don'tknow you be interested in how you walk your dog or what you have on your plate at lunch(unless you are Will Smith starting a diet).
As a creation, Reels are like posts and are meant to be discovered. That's why they canappear on the explore tab (public accounts only). Like a post too, they will remain visibleon your own Reel feed and your general Insta feed (to your followers only for privateaccount). You can also share your reels as a Story, which means that your reel will beaccessible as a Story, via your profile picture thumbnail.
Public or private, you can't re-share other people's Stories but you can re-sharesomeone's reel as a Story (public account only).
Difference #12. Engagement
Public or private account, the Story is something that you share with your followers, a groupof close friends only or individually via Instagram messaging. And it makes sense: why wouldpeople who don’t know you be interested in how you walk your dog or what you have on yourplate at lunch (unless you are Will Smith starting a diet).
With a public account, Reels are like posts and are meant to be discovered. That’s why theycan appear on the explore tab (public accounts only). Like a post too, they will remainvisible on your own Reel feed and your general Insta feed (to your followers only forprivate account). You can also share your reels as a Story, which means that your reel willbe accessible as a Story, via your profile picture thumbnail.
Public or private, you can’t re-share other people’s Stories but you can re-share someone’sreel as a Story (public account only).
Public VS Private account
Private Stories & Public Reels
You can create Stories and Reels with a public or private account. It all depends on yourgoals when making this choice. A private account is not intended to make you known beyondyour followers. In this case, hashtags will not be useful for your Reels and even less foryour Stories which are meant for private viewing. If you're creative and looking for anaudience, regardless of your activity or status, a public account is all you need. Reels areincreasingly highlighted by Instagram in the explore tab when you have a public account. Here is a tool toautomatically generate relevantkeywords for your Reels (and posts).
Free Reels & Paid Stories
Generally speaking, in the case of a public account, the Reels will allow you to grow youraudience for free and the Stories to feed it daily and to nurture your relationship. You canhowever create paid campaigns to promote your Stories which will then be suggested todifferent audiences according to your activity and your objectives. Your Story ad willthen be inserted between the personal Stories of profiles chosen by Instagram according toyour criteria and affinities.
Get new followers
Instagram's algorithm loves consistency. Feeding your accountregularly is very time consuming, which is why we created Pictalio.
1. Join the community by sharing yourmost beautiful vertical videos. Each use of your videos on Instagram by third parties willincrease your visibility and consequently your audience.
2. Start testing your Stories and Reels now by downloading free vertical videos here.
3. Check this 10 expert tips on how to use Instagram Reels to reach new followers.
Use Reels Editor for your Stories
The Stories editor is quite limited for creating more sophisticated videos, especially fortransitions and audio. Don't hesitate to use the Reel tool to make beautiful videos!You can then save them as a draft in your profile (or in your smartphone) to make edits andeven to plan the release of your Stories. Later is great at this!
Instagram new feature
Whether you deleted content by mistake or your account was hacked (yes, hackers love to dothat), you can now recover your content within 30 days. On the latest version of theInstagram app, during these 30 days, you can recover Posts, Stories and Reels just by goingto Settings > Account > Recently Deleted. From there you can either restore orpermanently delete them.
Once you've mastered the benefits of Reels and Stories, you'll see that they arecomplementary and serve very different purposes. Moral of the story: consider Reels to getgrowth and Stories to deepen the relationship and get engagement.
Instagram Stories allow you to post content that lasts for 24 hours and can be viewed only by your followers or people visiting your profile. On the other hand, Instagram Reels allows you to create short, engaging videos that can be up to 90 seconds long and can be viewed by anyone on the platform.What is the difference between Instagram reels and Instagram Stories? ›
Instagram Stories allow you to post content that lasts for 24 hours and can be viewed only by your followers or people visiting your profile. On the other hand, Instagram Reels allows you to create short, engaging videos that can be up to 90 seconds long and can be viewed by anyone on the platform.What performs better reels or Stories? ›
Reels are more focused on creativity and self-expression, while Stories are more focused on providing updates and behind-the-scenes content to followers. In terms of reach, Reels have the potential to reach a wider audience as they can be shared on Instagram Feed as well as other social media platforms.Are reels better than posts 2023? ›
In other words, reels are more optimal for connecting with non-followers who may be interested in your content. Instagram's built-in insights break down the ratio of followers to non-followers who see each post or reel.What is the new Instagram story format? ›
Your Instagram story should be 1080 pixels in width and 1920 pixels in height with an aspect ratio of 9:16. The pictures should be at least 500 pixels wide and in JPG and PNG formats.Can a reel be a Story? ›
Yes! You can share your own, or someone else's, Instagram Reel to your Story directly from the Instagram app. You can also schedule Reels to your Story to post later using some additional tools.Can you see who viewed your Reels? ›
For the pending question “can you see who watched your reels on Instagram”', the answer is no. Instagram doesn't reveal what profiles have seen a reel, however, you can know how many views it has. It's also possible to see the number of likes and choose if you want to show this information or not.What gets more views a reel or a post? ›
More Engagement – Instagram reels get 67% more engagement than standard Instagram videos. Posting more reels increases your chance of getting more likes and comments, compared to posting pictures only.What content performs best on reels? ›
Reels should be something that you add to your posting schedule. According to our 2023 Social Media Benchmark Report, Reels were the top-performing type of post for the food and beverage, health and beauty, home decor, influencer, retail, sports teams, and travel industries.Who uses reels the most? ›
Reels get 22% more interaction than standard video postings. The majority of Reel's audience is from the 25 to 34 age group. Reels and TikTok are perceived as being “essentially the same” by 87% of Gen Z.
On top of sounds, Reels can include multiple video clips, filters, captions, interactive backgrounds, stickers, and more. Reels are different from Instagram Stories. Unlike Stories, they don't disappear after 24 hours. Once you post a Reel, it's available on Instagram until you delete it.Does it really matter what time you post a reel? ›
Our data shows that Reels can get up to 300% more engagement than regular Instagram videos. At Hootsuite, we've been posting Reels to our Instagram audience of 170k followers for over two years. Over that time, we've learned that the best post time for Instagram Reels is 9 AM and 12 PM, Monday to Thursday.What is the best day to post on Instagram? ›
The best times to post on Instagram are Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., generally. Similar to Facebook, the “off” hours are the early morning hours every day of the week, from midnight until 4 a.m.What is the highest quality Instagram story? ›
The Instagram Story dimensions 1080px by 1920px are high-definition and the best quality visuals you can upload.What is the most popular content format on Instagram? ›
Short narrative-type Stories are the most popular format
So if you're running out of Instagram Story ideas, use these stats to brainstorm new ideas that engage your audience.
- Share a great product photo with a product link. ...
- Share an aesthetic photo with a tiny tag. ...
- Post your out of office message. ...
- Share a photo from another Instagram account. ...
- Use a simple interactive sticker. ...
- Make a countdown for an event. ...
- Call out specific customers.
Compared to In-Feed Posts, Reel's laid-back vibe gives you an opportunity to flaunt your creativity. You're also able to create content that doesn't require extensive planning and flawless execution. As an added bonus, the creative tools built into Reels can really make your clips pop.Should I share my reel to my Story? ›
Adding your Reel to a Story increases the odds that it will be seen. Reels can be shared directly to Stories, but Cohen recommends taking a different approach: “I reshare the in-feed Reel to stories so the Reel in our feed gets more views.”How long do reels last on Instagram? ›
Instagram Reels length may be up to 90 seconds or up to 15 minutes, and it depends on how the Reel is created. If the Reel is created via Instagram Reels tool in the app straight from the Instagram camera, the length is up to 90 seconds. The default Reel length users can create via the IG camera is 15 seconds.